By Rosemary Horvath
Clare County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a special meeting Sept. 2 to interview candidates for unexpired terms for District 5 county commission and at-large county road commission.
Applying for the county board seat are former District 5 Commissioner and board chairman Don David and Ronald Vasich, both Hamilton Township residents. Deadline has passed.
For road commission, at the time of this writing, applicants are Julie Lightfoot, Rick Craven, Dennis Gargin, Rod Williams, Mark Fitzpatrick, Mark Lightfoot, Owen Malson and Don Kolander. Deadline was close of business Wednesday.
The road commission vacancy came about from the unexpected resignation of longtime road commission vice-chairman and Hatton Township resident Eddy Garver in August.
Garver’s term expires November 2016. His resignation was formally submitted to the County Board of Commissioners.
Prior to Carver resigning, Craven had declared himself as a no-party affiliation candidate for a road commission seat in November. Deadline for filing no-party qualifying petitions was July 21, according to County Clerk Pam Mayfield.
Michigan Compiled Law requires a majority vote of a county board of commissioners to fill a vacancy on a road commission created by a resignation, according to County Administrator Tracy Byard.
The District 5 County Commission term expires at year end.
County Chairman Rick LaBoda vacates the position Aug. 31. He resigned to give commissioners the opportunity of appointing a replacement and avoid a costly special election, he said.
LaBoda was notified he could not seek reelection this November if he intends to collect his retirement benefit in September through the Michigan Employees Retirement System. The notification was too late for LaBoda to have his name removed from either the primary or the general election ballot.
MERS informed LaBoda of a conflict when he ran in the primary. Because he retired from district court as a county employee in 2012 and has served as a county commissioner, a MERS policy declares he’d be continuing on the county payroll which is not allowed. In other words, he cannot collect a county pension and a county paycheck.
LaBoda must wait two years from the date of collecting retirement before he is eligible to seek election to a county office.